Stop giving away ideas advises industry report

A new report urging marcoms agencies to stop ‘giving away’ ideas and undercutting competitors has been welcomed by the PRCA and CIPR.

Baxter: author of the report
Baxter: author of the report
‘Magic and Logic: redefining sustainable business practices for agencies, marketing and procurement’ calls for a ‘radical rethink’ of terms of engagement around pitching, remuneration and intellectual property. It also suggests that agencies ought to ‘lead the charge on measurement and evaluation’.

The report is the result of a year’s research by Marilyn Baxter, former Saatchi & Saatchi vice-chairman and executive planning director.

It was published by the Value Framework initiative, which was launched by procurement, ad and marketing bodies CIPS, IPA and ISBA in 2004 in a bid to improve cross-industry professionalism.

PRCA director-general Patrick Barrow welcomed the guide, saying: ‘So much of this guide is pertinent to PR agencies, particularly the exhortation to make a profit from producing ideas that profit clients.’

CIPR head of PA Francis Ingham said: ‘This report will be a useful tool for marketing and ad professionals.’
The report was published as the PRCA unveiled the results of its annual Benchmarking Survey. Its member agencies said their rate of overservicing clients had marginally risen, from 22 per cent in 2005 to 25 per cent in 2006.
Both the CIPR and PRCA have plans to produce procurement guides.

The CIPR, in conjunction with CIPS, the COI and consultancy Gyroscope, is to publish its guide next month. Ingham said: ‘Procurement is entering a new era of enhanced professionalism.’

The PRCA has also published a number of reports, in conjunction with the IPA, ISBA and MCCA. A consultation document advising clients on how to judge creative work is due this year.

Although ‘Magic and Logic’ does not cover PR, its contributors have invited PROs to comment on it at

Value Framework will consider the comments at its next meeting, where ideas, such as cross-discipline training courses, will be mooted.

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